Case Study

AOL data centers reduce energy consumption and find unused capacity among the racks with intelligent power management solutions.
AOL has high marks in corporate sustainability. To keep its utility costs and carbon footprint low, the iconic global web services company employs a number of energy-saving and conservation initiatives. It has created innovative green buildings, implemented a teleworking program for its employees, and put into action a number of conservation measures ranging from using fluorescent lights to daylight harvesting and building automation systems to automatically turn off lights, heating and cooling in its building. For its efforts, AOL has been recognized with a number of green awards in recent years, including the EPA and Department of Energy “ENERGY STAR® ” Award. AOL’s most significant energy consumption comes from its data centers with thousands of servers and switches, which host AOL’s content and route messages globally. To minimize utility costs and carbon footprint impact, AOL has taken action in creating reliable, sustainable and energy-efficient data centers. Customer AOL is a leading-edge web services company that welcomes 112 million monthly visitors to its web properties. Celebrating 25 years of growth, AOL’s business spans the Internet with online and local content, innovative products and valuable services for consumers, publishers and advertisers. Recognized for its corporate sustainability, AOL is committed to conducting its business in ways that minimize its impact on the environment through a variety of initiatives that has led it to win Uptime Institute’s Green Enterprise IT Awards for energy efficiency improvements.


Measuring in Order to Manage Data Center Energy Efficiency
AOL’s IT team needed details on how much power the servers, routers and switches consumed. They wanted easily accessible information on energy consumption at each and every power outlet throughout their data centers, so that they could gather an accurate picture on energy usage in order to take steps to improve energy efficiency. AOL has worked with Raritan since 2009 on a number of projects, including outfitting data centers with remote server management and control solutions. More recently, Raritan's Results

AOL’s IT team wanted to improve their data centers’ overall energy efficiency. To do so, they needed accurate measurement of the power their servers, routers and switches were consuming. They also wanted to measure energy consumption at each power outlet, so they could gather an accurate picture of their energy usage.


Power Management Dominion® PX™ intelligent rack PDUs Power IQ® energy management software

“ Our decision was easy; there was no vendor out there that provide Raritan’s level of outlet-level metering.”
Will Stevens Senior IT Director, AOL

AOL’s IT staff is able to receive power information for each piece of equipment, as well as information from temperature and humidity sensors, anywhere in the world. The data is displayed on one central console – providing management, charting and reporting capabilities, plus power control over systems. By graphing energy usage and trends and tracking carbon footprint, AOL can identify areas where they can conserve, helping them identify devices that are wasting energy and areas where there is overcooling.

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Power information gathered includes data on voltage.” said Will Stevens. AOL is able to gather energy intelligence on each piece of equipment plugged into the PDU – information such as the power being drawn and real-time rack temperature and humidity. AOL deployed 24-port Raritan PX PDUs in its data centers. apparent power (kVA). as well as one that would work in new locations. “Our decision was easy. The Power IQ Web-based dashboard brings it all together in one central console – providing management. We wanted a solution that could be deployed in our existing data centers. The key features in Raritan’s solution that appealed to us were data collection capabilities. is gathered by Raritan’s Power IQ® energy management software. and the support of open interfaces. as well as information from temperature and humidity sensors from anywhere in the world.” says Stevens. which plugs into a power . power factor. current (amps). Information from Raritan's iPDUs.” AOL Gathers Energy Intelligence In its Manassas Tech Center and Dulles Tech Center. With a separate processor for each outlet and secure connectivity built into the intelligent rack PDU. active power (kW) and energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh). AOL’s IT staff is able to obtain power information for each piece of equipment. plus power control over systems. there was no vendor out there that provides Raritan’s level of outlet-level metering. AOL deployed Raritan’s intelligent rack power distribution units (iPDUs) capable of metering – in real time – power at both the PDU and outlet level. Servers. The solution enables AOL to monitor rack temperatures and then send alerts if temperatures exceed certain user-defined thresholds and industry guidelines set by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating. Power IQ Cooling Chart Raritan Inc. charting and reporting. UPSs and other IT equipment were plugged into ports on the back of the intelligent PDU. It also is deploying the units in AOL's new data center. The thermal analytics feature is designed to help managers monitor rack temperatures and report whether the data center is within ASHRAE guidelines. Senior IT Director at AOL. analytics and reporting. so that we could operate highly efficient and highly available data centers. Each Power IQ Carbon Emissions Report PDU has an LED power meter and serial and Ethernet ports. “Our primary goals were to lower energy usage and find capacity. With a click or two on a web dashboard. NJ 08873 / USA / Raritan. as well as from basic rack PDUs made by other vendors. / 400 Cottontail Lane / Somerset. “You can determine where hot spots are in your data center and how much you can raise the ambient temperature without risking your IT infrastructure. Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers).intelligent power management solutions that collect detailed outletlevel data is helping AOL in their energy-efficient efforts. as well as in improving capacity management in server racks. The tool gathers rack temperatures then plots the readings on a chart to show whether an organization is in acceptable ranges.

for example. such as servers that are turned on but are doing little or no computational work or areas where there is overcooling. it provides real-time monitoring as Raritan is a proven innovator of power © 2011 Raritan Inc. Firmware and configuration management and PX health monitoring for all their PDU units can be done with Power IQ. provide IT and facility directors. Manage smarter. By raising temperatures. AOL is also using Raritan’s energy solution to find valuable rack space using real-time power draw information of equipment instead of relying upon nameplate data.” Power IQ Active Power Report Power IQ calculates how much energy could be saved by increasing temperatures a little more. Raritan has 38 offices worldwide. The thermal analytics feature also can send out email alerts if. KVM and serial solutions for data centers of all sizes. any rack goes above threshold conditions as well as provide long-term trend charts. NJ. infrastructure management. and in turn. can be performed through a single point of access.800. and the support of open interfaces.724. C1032 Raritan Inc. NJ 08873 / USA / Raritan.000 locations worldwide. / 400 Cottontail Lane / Somerset. In more than 50. but within ASHRAE recommendations.” “ The key features in Raritan’s solution that appealed to us were data collection capabilities. PX™ and Power IQ® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Raritan Inc. improve data center productivity and enhance branch office operations. energy management software. AOL is taking advantage of Power IQ’s capability to centrally manage PDUs. For more information. AOL Call 1.” says Stevens. or its wholly-owned subsidiaries. analytics and reporting.Tracking and Reducing IT Carbon Footprint “By graphing energy usage and trends and tracking our carbon footprint. award-winning KVM-over-IP and Serial-over-IP access products. Dominion®. The actual draw in many cases is about 50 percent of the wattage or amperage listed on a device’s nameplate. less energy. “It helps us identify devices that are wasting energy. including intelligent PDUs. our hardware and software solutions. Will Stevens Senior IT Director. Raritan’s power management solutions won five key industry awards in 2010 and were recognized by the EPA for contributions to the agency’s data center initiative. All others are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners. Based in Somerset. please visit Raritan. . Raritan’s solution is helping us identify areas where we can conserve. Mass firmware upgrades for all PX devices. Raritan®. Know more. even slightly. Not only does Raritan’s energy management solution help us reduce costs.™. serving 76 countries. data centers will require less cooling. managers and administrators with the control they need to increase power management efficiency. for example.8090 or visit Raritan. All rights reserved.

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